Luton Matters

The Luton Matters category for 2020-21 is Health

Applications for Luton Matters are currently closed. Applications for the next Luton Matters grants will be announced on this page in the summer of 2021.

See below for details. Please read these guidelines carefully before applying.

Opening of the Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton (photo: Shaun Armstrong)

Luton Matters was a new initiative in 2019 from The Steel Charitable Trust, designed to assist organisations whose work brings significant benefits to residents of Luton or improvements to the town. Grants will be made in each of the Trust’s five funding priority categories (see Grant-making policy), rolled out over a number of years.

The first award, in the Social or Economic Disadvantage category, was made to Luton All Women’s Centre in March 2020 for a programme developing awareness and support in the workplace for female victims of domestic abuse (Employers Against Domestic Abuse). The second award, in the Arts and Heritage category, was made to Tangled Feet in June 2020 for a three-stranded programme of artistic work to develop new audiences in the town, create original work for schools based on themes of well-being, connectivity and social cohesion, and nurture young talent through to professional opportunity.

Through Luton Matters, The Steel Charitable Trust will provide grants of up to £90,000 in total, paid over three years, one grant for each of the Trust’s five priority funding categories. There will only be one grant per category running at any one time. The grants will be available by competitive application to support charitable projects that are aimed at improving the lives or opportunities of people who live within the Luton boundary. Where appropriate, preference will be given to projects that are delivered by local people and run by Luton-based organisations.

The table below shows the anticipated schedule of awards and applications*:

Award CategoryStatusNext new applicationsFor project start
Social or Economic DisadvantageCurrent20222023
Arts and HeritageCurrent20222023
HealthApplications closedand under review2021
EducationNot yet active20212022
EnvironmentNot yet active20212022
* subject to change if, for example, an award is not made in any category in any year

Eligibility and Purpose of Grant

Applications will be accepted from either

  • Charities registered in any part of the United Kingdom, or
  • Exempt Charities (see schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011), or
  • Community Interest Companies (CICs), or
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs)

Applications must be for grants that will benefit people who live in Luton, and, unless otherwise stated for a specific category, may be for either

  • new initiatives, or
  • on-going projects, or
  • capital works, or
  • research programmes, or
  • core costs

Our usual restrictions apply as to the purpose for which the grant may be used (see Grant-making policy).

Applications will be accepted from organisations that have applied to the Trust before (whether successfully or not) and organisations new to the Trust. If an organisation has received a grant from us in the past under our regular grant-giving programme, there is no time restriction on applying to us again for a Luton Matters award.

It is unlikely that any organisation that is awarded a Luton Matters grant will receive another such grant in consecutive cycles, even in a different funding category.

Applications for the 2020 Health category are now closed

Applications are now being reviewed for programmes that meet one or both the criteria below:

  • Promotion of good health through programmes that encourage healthy lifestyles and general well-being amongst children and young people (up to age 18) so as to prevent poor health in later life
  • Promotion of good ante-natal health and well-being in pregnant women

Programmes may include physical or mental health, or both. This is a significant grant and programmes should be suitably ambitious to reflect the size of the grant on offer.

For the Health category, the Trust is not seeking applications that require funding for:

  • services or treatment associated with specific diseases or medical conditions
  • medical research
  • resources specifically for disabled people

Application Process

There is a four-stage application process. This is not designed to be onerous; its purpose is to ensure that potential applicants do not spend a disproportionately long period of time on an application that has little chance of success. Competition for these awards is expected to be high. If an applicant makes it past the initial stage, they can expect to be in close contact with a Trustee who will advise on the next stages. The final decision will be made at the March 2021 meeting of Trustees at which up to two short-listed applicants will be asked to make a presentation.

1expression of interest form (EOI) click here to download the form; the completed form should be emailed to NOW CLOSED
2detailed project plan some applicants who have completed the expression of interest form will be asked to develop their idea further into a project plan (click here to see what we expect in a project plan)
3final application form up to two short-listed applicants will be chosen from the project plans submitted and asked to complete our standard online application form (principally to ensure your application is on our system – you will have already done most of the work to answer its questions by this point)
4presentation to Trustees assuming the final application form is completed satisfactorily and by the deadline, the short-listed applicants will be invited to make a 30-minute presentation (including 10 minutes for questions) to our Trustees at a Luton venue in March 2021; a maximum of two people from each organisation is permitted to participate in the presentation

Outline Timetable

13 October 2020deadline for submission of expression of interest (EOI) forms
(Health category only in 2020)
9 November 2020date by which all applicants will have received a response to their EOI form, one way or another
16 December 2020deadline for submission of project plans (by invitation only)
12 February 2021deadline for completion of final application forms (by invitation only)
18 March 2021presentation to Trustees (time and Luton venue to be confirmed)
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